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Apple promises to stop mining for rare-earth materials
By Thom Holwerda on 2017-04-20 09:12:59

Apple has one of the most aggressive sustainability and recycling programs in tech, but it still pulls plenty of metals and toxic rare-earth materials out of the ground to make iPhones, iPads, Macbooks and other products.

That's about to change. The company is set to announce a new, unprecedented goal for the tech industry, "to stop mining the earth altogether".

Apple plans to stop mining for rare-earth materials, and exclusively use recycled materials (from iPhones and other Apple products, presumably). Incredibly ambitious goal - one among many environmental goals the company revealed yesterday - and quite laudable. They have the money to blaze these trails, and I'm glad they're using it for this.

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Read Comments: 1-10 -- 11-16
RE: Okay but...
By fmaxwell on 2017-04-21 01:24:14
> A dog in a dress doesn't make a bride.

That was a painful lesson for you to learn on your honeymoon, wasn't it? :)
Permalink - Score: 0
So where do they get the raw materials?
By fmaxwell on 2017-04-21 01:27:07
Maybe Apple is buying up the recalled Samsung Galaxy Note 7 phones in order to reclaim materials with which to manufacture iPhones.

Edited 2017-04-21 01:28 UTC
Permalink - Score: 2
Theoretically good
By lighans on 2017-04-21 06:51:49
Above posters made some clear points.

If this is a real sustainable way producing phones, I welcome it. I also like to see them invest in better labour conditions. These Chinese slaves will be very thankful. Oh no, they will move there factories to America off course....
Permalink - Score: 1
RE: Geopolitical�
By joekiser on 2017-04-21 11:53:52
With the Trump presidency and the North Korea politics in that region

Funny you mention that. It was recently discovered that NK has one of the largest rare earth deposits on earth.


China was purchasing rare earth materials from NK because NK lacks the ability to refine them, and China can purchase the NK rare earths for their smartphone manufacturing much cheaper than mining it themselves.


But oh noes! North Korea just stopped shipping rare earths to China in March.


I wonder what's going to happen now that NK is sitting on a trove of necessary manufacturing elements, but not willing to play with anybody anymore?
Permalink - Score: 2
By unclefester on 2017-04-22 02:02:31
"Rare Earths" are not rare. The name 'rare' relates to the fact that the elements are always found in complex ores and not easily purified.

The only problem with rare earths is that they are mostly processed in unsafe backyard operations in China.
Permalink - Score: 3
RE[2]: Okay but...
By TooShy on 2017-04-24 10:10:20
A stupid reply for a not-so-stupid comment.

_QJ_ is partly true, until we don't have the real numbers from Apple's providers...

...We can't say they are "ethical-ecologicoal"...

Please don't be a blind-sheep from your whatever preferred devices provider.

We all must say : -"Good start Apple, but, must be followed by real acts and facts, to prove us your are right."
Permalink - Score: 1

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